There are four characters that all of us who spend any time on the Internet are intimately familiar with - .com. Those four characters are found at the end of nearly every website we visit, but that’s about to change.

As first reported by HousingWire in 2013, high-level domains, such as .REALTOR, are now available.

One of the new high-level domains, .BANK, is engendering significant interest, according to the Financial Services Roundtable, which is a lead supporter, investor and founder of the .BANK domain.

The Financial Services Roundtable is a founding member of fTLD Registry Services, which manages the .BANK domain. Other founding members of fTLD Registry Services include the American Bankers Association, Huntington Bancshares, SunTrust and U.S. Bancorp.

According to the FSR, more than 3,000 financial institutions applied for .BANK domain names after the general availability period for the domain names began on June 23.

But .BANK is more than just a high-level domain, the FSR said. The .BANK domain is also a new online bank community that uses “enhanced security requirements and stringent verification standards to provide banks and their customers with a safer place to do online business,” the FSR said.

“We are pleased to see so many financial institutions registering for .BANK – a move that clearly signifies the dedication and importance banks place on improving protections for their customers’ sensitive information from the growing threat of cyber attacks,” said Chris Feeney, president of FSR’s cybersecurity and technology policy division, BITS. “

The .BANK online space has more than 30 enhanced security requirements that are specially designed to create a trusted, verified and more secure location for online banking business,” Feeney continued.

According to the FSR, security requirements for .BANK include mandatory verification and re-verification of charters and licensures to ensure only legitimate banking community members are awarded .BANK domain names.

Additionally, BANK features security extensions to ensure Internet users aren’t misdirected to malicious or fake bank websites; email authentication to mitigate spoofing and phishing; and strong encryption to ensure security of communication over the Internet, among others.